Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald is incredibly talented, stunningly beautiful, and has that great Glaswegian accent. She started in hipster movie Trainspotting, but quickly transitioned to doing many frock flicks. Let’s check out her resume!
Cousin Bette (1998)
The adaptation of the Balzac novel, set in the 1840s. Macdonald plays the sweet, pretty, young daughter of a rich family who marries older cousin Bette’s crush, launching all kinds of revenge.
The loosely-based-on-history biopic of Queen Elizabeth I’s early reign. Macdonald plays “Isabelle” Knollys, the attendant who hooks up with Robert Dudley and gets poisoned in the process.
My Life So Far (1999)
“A year in the life of a ten-year-old Scottish boy.” Looks like this is set in the 1920s? Looks like Macdonald plays the boy’s older sister.
Gosford Park (2001)
The faaaabulous 1930s-set country house party/murder mystery. Macdonald plays the young and naive lady’s maid to Maggie Smith’s character.
Brush With Fate (2003)
A TV movie about an imaginary Vermeer painting as it travels through time and various owners. Macdonald plays “Aletta,” and I’m not sure which time period her character is in?
Finding Neverland (2004)
A very fictionalized take on playwright J.M. Barrie writing the play “Peter Pan.” Macdonald plays Peter in the play-within-a-film.
Nanny McPhee (2005)
A magical nanny arrives to take care of some children in the late 19th century. Macdonald plays “Evangeline, the Browns’ scullery maid, who dreams of being an educated lady” per Wikipedia.
Boardwalk Empire (2010-14)
Crime happens in 1920s Atlantic City. Macdonald plays “Margaret Thompson – a young widow and mother who turns to Nucky for help out of an abusive marriage, becoming his mistress and later his wife” (thanks Wikipedia). I know I SHOULD want to watch this, but I’ve never been inspired!
Anna Karenina (2012)
The movie-as-play adaptation starring Keira Knightley. Macdonald plays Dolly, a Russian princess whose husband is cheating on her.
Swallows and Amazons (2016)
An adaptation of a 1930 children’s novel. Macdonald plays the mother of some children on holiday.
Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017)
The biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne. Macdonald plays Milne’s son’s nanny.
Holmes & Watson (2018)
The supremely un-funny Sherlock Holmes movie. Macdonald plays Mrs. Hudson, Sherlock’s landlady.
Urban Myths (2019)
A British comedy TV show that tells supposedly true stories about real people. Macdonald plays Princess Margaret in the episode in which she supposedly hangs out with Mick Jagger.
Operation Mincemeat (2021)
Set during World War II, about the British deception operation of the Second World War to disguise the 1943 Allied invasion of Sicily. Macdonald plays a widowed secretary who is key to the plot.
What’s your favorite Kelly Macdonald frock flick role?
You really should force yourself to take Boardwalk Empire for a test drive. It really is very good, but then I’m partial to 1920’s frocks and Steve Buscemi.
She, at some point, works as a very correct businesswoman in a respectable office, and her period, professional wardrobe is so lovely! I covet, lordy, how I covet!
Agree!! BE is very much worth it.
I just love to hear her speak too. In a FF or modern film, Kelly never fails to deliver an intense performace.
There were a whole lot of Knollys, children of Elizabeth’s cousin Catherine Carey and Francis Knollys, but no Isabelle. It was Lettice who snatched Dudley from under Elizabeth’s nose, in the 1580s.
Isabelle is a fictional character for the movie, since she meets a demise that Lettice Knollys did not.
I hope you will review Gosford Park one day, it’s such a good film.It’s like Downton Abbey without all the sugar!
Not a Frock Flick, but the first thing I saw her in was No Country for Old Men. Her American accent was so good, I was shocked to find out that she’s Scottish! :)
My first intro to her was in the adorable but less known romcom The Decoy Bride where she gets to make full use of her Scottish accent – plus David Tennant in a kilt!
Just watched the trailer on Youtube – think I’ll be checking it out in the near future. Thanks! :)
Love, love, love The Decoy Bride. It’s completely silly, but also so sweet. Definitely worth the watch@
Not a frock flick, but her Grey Lady ghost of Ravenclaw House is clearly medieval.
I loved her BOARDWALK EMPIRE, a show whose biggest problem is that the lead character is its least interesting character. It is, however, a rather excellent overview of society throughout the 1920s in Atlantic City, dealing with themes of war-related trauma and racial tensions, Black wealth and queer lives not usually depicted when dramatizing the period. I’m not sure I’d recommend it if you’re not convinced, however. After all, it’s quite a significant time investment.
It should be noted that the last shot you include is from the fifth and last season, which is set in 1931, hence the style she’s sporting.
Really loved her on Boardwalk Empire. I saw her in almost everything she made prior to it, but she sold me as a leading lady in that.
Lookit! That’s Emily Mortimer with her as another of Cate Hudson’s attendants in Elizabeth!
Hilariously playing Elizabeth’s governess Kat Ashley despite Mortimer being 3 years younger than Blanchett.
The gold Egyptian Revival ensemble she wears to the Egyptian-themed party in Boardwalk Empire is one that I would most like to copy. I loved Boardwalk, and thought their hat game was better than Downton Abbey at the time. And, yes, the last dress is from the 30s.
Wow, that was Maggie Smith’s sweet little lady’s maid in “Gosford” (who was more complex than she seemed)? I loved her interplay with Emily Watson.